Saracens have shared a tribute to their departing captain Brad Barritt, who has brought his career in England to an end. After twelve seasons and 262 appearances with the London club, the 34-year-old played his final match in the Heineken Champions Cup semi-final loss to Racing 92, a game where he was withdrawn in the final quarter with a head injury.
His reluctance to leave the field in that match typified the commitment he had shown throughout his career and the fact that Racing mounted a comeback once he was off only exhibited how crucial he was for Saracens.
Although Saracens played their final two games of the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season since that defeat in Paris, the 26-cap England international was absent for both.
His club have now shared a video of the many tributes and video messages he has received from a host of players and coaches he worked alongside during his time at Vicarage Road and Allianz Park.
Among those were Brendan Venter, the ex-Saracens director of rugby, and his successor Mark McCall.
After 12 seasons and 262 apps, we wanted to say thank you to our skipper @bradbarritt.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) October 6, 2020
Venter said: “There’s a lot of wonderful rugby players that came through Saracens and there is a lot of quality people that came through Saracens, Brad, but you will rate up there as one of the best, one of the people that really lived the dream that we have got and for that, I want to thank you. I just want to tell you: Respect!”
McCall added to that, reflecting on the success that the pair have had over the past five years, which includes three European titles. He said: “Massive thank you to you on a personal level for the relationship and friendship we forged, especially over these last five years.
“I regard myself as incredibly fortunate to have happened upon a leader like yourself, somebody who had all the great qualities of the great captains. I truly believe that we would have never achieved what we did achieve over these five years if we didn’t have you at the helm.”
Midfielder Barritt, who was praised for his grit, resolute attitude and leadership qualities, is regarded by his peers as not only one of the great Saracens players, but one of the all-time greats of the Gallagher Premiership.
EXCLUSIVE: "It’s a true story. I think I was reffing, he was sinking to the bottom and I jumped in"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 1, 2020
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